In this new monthly column, afpop, Portugal’s largest foreign residents’ association, aims to answer some of the most frequently-asked questions by members.
Question: I remember reading about the massive queues in IMT at Faro last year. I have to renew my licence shortly and wondered if you can make appointments.
afpop Answers: It’s impossible to know how long the queues will be, of course, on any given day, but it isn’t possible to make an advance appointment with IMT to renew driving licences. However, readers may not be aware that it is now also possible for foreigners to renew a Portuguese driving licence at ‘Espaço Cidadão’.
Unfortunately, not all municipalities have this in place at the moment, so we recommend that you check first before heading off on a fruitless excursion. It is not necessary to go to the ‘Espaço Cidadão’ in your area though; you can use any of them.
On the site of AMA – Agência para a Modernização Administrativa (Agency for Administrative Modernisation) – you will find details of all the ‘Espaço Cidadão’, including contacts and full addresses as well as their timetable.
The website is www.ama.gov.pt and you click on the tab ‘Atendimento’, then either ‘Loja de Cidadão’ or ‘Espaço Cidadão’, whichever you have in your town, and at the bottom of the page you will see ‘Consulte aqui a Rede de Lojas (Espaços) de Cidadão’. Click on that link and find the details of the service closest to you.
Be aware that in some ‘Espaço Cidadão’, they may require a proof of the medical certificate, so make sure the doctor gives you a copy.
The afpop Information Bulletin (P04) is available to members and has more information, including which documents to take with you.
For more information about the benefits of membership of afpop, the largest association for foreign residents in Portugal, including their extensive list of Information Bulletins, you can visit their website www.afpop.com; email them direct on email@example.com or call the afpop office on 282 458 509 (t/m 938 252 100).
Please remember to quote THE ALGARVE RESIDENT when contacting them.